An Interesting Path to an “Unconventional” Job
Years ago, jobs were often categorized into two distinct buckets — those for men and those for women. These days, those lines are often blurring, with more and more women finding their way into jobs that might have been deemed unconventional in the past. Such is the case with female truck drivers.
While a rarity in the past, women are carving out a small but important role within the trucking industry.
The most recent estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report that female truck drivers make up 6.6 percent of the total number of truck drivers in the United States. But that amounts to only around 210,000 female truck drivers out of a total 3.5 million in the United States.
It may be hard to visualize female truck drivers if you’ve never really come across any. But that’s about to change. Meet Jennifer Slechta and Kimberly Greenwood, two of Storey Trucking’s team of drivers.
Jennifer and Kimberly have been driving together as a team for more than a decade, with both finding their way into truck driving separately and then joining together as a team.
But it’s how Kimberly found her way into truck driving in the first place that may be most fascinating.
An Unconventional Path Into Truck Driving
So — we already touched on the fact that truck driving is considered an unconventional job for women, even in 2019. Now here’s the funny part of this story: The “unconventional” part of truck driving for women is what got Kimberly involved in truck driving in the first place.
“I’ve been driving for 15 years now,” Kimberly says. “I started when I was in graduate school, writing a master’s thesis on females in nontraditional occupations. I went to a course about truck driving to learn more about women in the industry and went ahead and got my license.”
And the rest, as they might say, is history.
Kimberly hadn’t planned on working in the industry — she only went into the experience looking for valuable information for her thesis and the opportunity to speak with female truck drivers to learn more about their work.
But around the time that she was working on her master’s degree, the economy crashed and her situation changed.
“When the economy went south, I decided I’d drive for a year,” Kimberly says. “But a year became two years...and I’m still here.”
Kimberly and Jennifer met in that fated truck driving course (the one Kimberly was only in to gain perspective for her paper), but the two became friends and eventually began driving together as a team.
Before joining on with Storey, they worked as a driving team for several other trucking companies, both big and small. But as they move toward two decades in the industry, an opportunity to become part of Storey’s team proved to be the right fit.
The Storey Trucking Difference
Having worked with both big and small trucking companies over their years of driving together, Kimberly and Jennifer knew they wanted to move back to working with a smaller organization. That gave Storey a clear advantage.
“With bigger companies, it’s like they don’t care about you,” Jennifer says. “They only care about themselves and the bottom line. We had seen Storey trucks on the road making the same drives we were and noticed that they seemed to be a smaller company, which is something that we really liked.”
Kimberly adds, “Storey is different. They actually care about us. They’re getting to know us and how we like to run. They’re really taking the time to work with us.”
Because they’re both veteran drivers, Kimberly and Jennifer were looking for an opportunity that would allow them to be more independent, as long as they met their targets. They found that in Storey, along with genuine respect and support for the two as female truck drivers.
“They support us quite well,” Jennifer says. “They treat us right — they don’t treat us any differently than the rest of the drivers. So it’s been so far so good!”
Working with Storey has allowed the two drivers to excel, easily transitioning as part of the team and getting up-to-date on what’s required to hit bonus levels. The two say that part of their easy transition has been the hands-on attention from those in leadership.
“Paul [Storey] and Eric [Storey] are always there,” Jennifer says. “That’s not something you get at other companies. We’ve met the CEOs at other companies, and they’re very hands-off. Here, they’re so involved, and it tells me that they truly care.”
And an added bonus? Their six-year-old cat Moxxi gets to join them on the road! Together, the three of them are set to drive many miles into the future as part of the Storey Trucking team.
Interested in joining the Storey Trucking team? We’d love to hear from you! To learn more about driving with Storey, visit our drivers page or apply online. You can also call the office and ask for Steve Berryman at 800.633.2444.